Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Turn on my hot water!
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 > Turn on my hot water!

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New RV Owner

Calgary

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Posted: 05/04/20 03:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just bought a 2004 Golden Falcon that is permanently parked in a campground . How do I turn on the hot water? Is there a switch inside? Outside any help is greatly appreciated!

2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 05/04/20 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Should be a gas switch inside, mine is near the bathroom sink. Electric is sort of automatic - or there could be a rocker switch on the tank itself.

There's also the previous owner as a source.

* This post was edited 05/04/20 04:09pm by 2oldman *

2chiefsRus

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Posted: 05/04/20 04:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

be sure there is water in it before turning it on. If the tank is empty from being winterized, you will ruin the electric element


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happy2rv

Huntsville, AL, USA

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Posted: 05/04/20 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not familiar with that brand, but most RVs have a gas water heater switch inside the coach. Some are on the monitoring panel with the gauges for tank level and others are located in a variety of places from the bathroom wall to the living room wall. They will usually either be labeled "Water Heater" or have a picture of a flame like the right side of the control panel referenced below... Not all RV water heaters have electric and those that do may or may not have an inside switch. If they do, they will usually have the gas and electric switches side by side like in the referenced control panel. Some, usually RVs with 30 amp service, will have a toggle switch that will switch between the electric water heater and some other high load appliance like the second air conditioner or microwave.

Water heater controls

If it does have an electric heating element, regardless of whether there is a switch inside, there is usually a switch inside the outside access panel for the water heater, often tucked away at the bottom left corner back behind all the plumbing, that turns the electric element off at the heater. As already mentioned, whenever the tank is drained that switch at the heater should be turned off to prevent damage to the element. Running the electric element without water in the tank causes a near instant failure of the element.

Once you locate the switch(es), if you are running on gas, make sure there is propane in the tank and the tank is on. When you switch the heater on, you should hear the burner try to ignite. If there is air in the gas lines, it may try several times and then go into "lockout" where it simply stops trying. Switching it off and then back on will reset the lockout and try again. If it doesn't light and stay lit after several cycles, you may have other issues.


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New RV Owner

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Posted: 05/04/20 07:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for this information. I may have ruined the electric element. Will my water heater still work on propane?

happy2rv

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Posted: 05/04/20 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, the water heater should still work on propane even if the electric element is burned out.

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 05/04/20 07:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New RV Owner wrote:

Thank you for this information. I may have ruined the electric element. Will my water heater still work on propane?


YES....
Separate systems with separate on/off switches

Atwood uses 12VDC for both electric/gas control functions
If Atwood it will have Both on/off switches Inside RV (2004 to present)
Use same set of t-stat/ECO and a thermal fuse (in clear tubing)

If Suburban the electric and gas use separate controls/switches
120VAC will have OEM on/off switch in outside compartment (RV MFg may have added a switch inside...both have to be on for element to work)
12VDC for gas will have on/off switch inside

Each have own set of T-stats ...high temp has a manual reset (under cover above gas valve)



Is this a Travel Trailer, Park Model Trailer or a 5th wheel?
Looks like from photos it uses an Atwood


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New RV Owner

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Posted: 05/04/20 08:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is a park model

opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 05/05/20 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fortunately a new element is probably less than $15. The first thing I would do is turn off the water to the trailer and open a hot side faucet to relieve system pressure. Then open the outside water heater panel and look for a name plate to see if you have a Suburban or Atwood. If no name plate look for the drain plug. Atwood uses a nylon plastic plug and Suburban uses a metal plug.

Next lift the little lever up on the Temperature Pressure Relief valve. If water comes out then your electric element (if it has one) will be fine. If no water then yes yo might have burned out the element. The water heater will work fine on propane alone. In face it will work better on propane alone than it will work on electric alone.

Next step is to locate the water heater bypass valves. You might have to look in a cabinet or under a bed. But the valves will usually be mounted close to the back of the heater. Verify that the valves are not in the winterizing position. Here's a link to the valve positions.
Link

Once the valves are set correctly turn on the water again and open a hot faucet to let the air escape from the filling water heater. Now find the switch in the trailer and turn the heater on to gas and see if it lights.


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